by Ashlyn Chase
Claudia Fletcher has her MBA and a stellar resume, so when the bar she manages burns down, she could easily move on to bigger and better things. But something about the bar owner, Anthony Cross makes it impossible to leave.
Anthony has never let on to the general public that he's a vampire, and most of his staff members have no idea Boston Uncommon was a safe gathering place for supernaturals of all kinds. Now that it's nothing but ash, the tentative peace among warring factions is starting to crumble. The last thing he wants to do is put Claudia in danger, but he also knows there's no way he can let her go…
Kissing with Fangs begins with a conundrum. The Boston Uncommon, a bar designed to be a safe gathering place for the supernatural community, has burnt down leaving Claudia unemployed and Anthony at a loss as to what to do to get Claudia back in his life while keeping her safe. In the meantime supes are disappearing all over the area without a clue as to how or why they have gone missing.
There are all of the elements here for a truly great read, but for me the journey was a bit flat. The primary protagonists Claudia and Anthony each have their issues and finely after five years realize they care for each other, but struggle with a way to make things work out. I found myself unable to connect with them and become invested in their journey together and really just did not care much about the characters. I was much more interested in the peripheral characters, who were great fun and captivating players, as well as the mystery of the disappearing folks and really wish there was more fleshing out of this part of the tale; it just seemed there was so much more to be said.
I do have to give kudos to the author for introducing the serious issue of alcoholism and the respectful way it was written into the story, although this did take away from the more lighthearted expectations that were there for the read.
Overall I enjoyed the tale, I just felt there was something missing and more that could have been said to make it really great. I received this book from NetGalley, but have purchased other books in the series and will definitely be giving those a read in hopes of more from those characters I really enjoyed and am looking forward to the journey.
About the Author:
Ashlyn Chase has been a registered nurse for 20 years. During those years, she wrote articles for professional journals and a thesis, but eventually, thank goodness, discovered the joy and freedom of writing fiction.
Ashlyn considers herself lucky. Her degree in behavioral sciences is a combination of psychology and sociology, so she has worked with and studied people most of her life. She never has to write out exhaustive character sketches to understand her characters or predict how they will behave. That doesn't mean they don't surprise her. Sometimes they take her on grand unexpected journeys. For her, it gives "character driven novels" a whole new meaning.